Home / Economy / Health ministry to name new DCGI

NEW DELHI : The Union health ministry may shortly approve the name of country’s top drug regulator— Drug Controller General of India (DCGI)—after a UPSC panel recommended the name of Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission’s (IPC) secretary-cum-scientific director Rajeev Raghuvanshi for the top post.

The others interviewed were VG Somani, the current DCGI; and Jai Prakash, Joint Director at IPC. The approved name will be sent to Appointments Committee of Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the final nod.

The UPSC floated the advertisement last February following which a lot of applications came in and interviews were conducted last month.

DCGI heads Central Drugs Control Standard Organization (CDCSO). It is a critical post in terms of making regulatory approval for drugs and vaccine in India. The importance of the post lies in the fact that DCGI has played a key role from approval of covid-19 vaccines to approval of lifesaving drugs and ensuring its quality in combatting the covid-19 pandemic.

Besides, this the appointment of a new DCGI is important at a time when India made drugs like cough syrups and eye drops supplied outside India are allegedly causing adverse events in the patients who are consuming it.

“Rajeev Raghuvanshi’s name has been selected by UPSC for the post DCGI. However, health ministry may soon approve the name and then send it to ACC for final approval," said a person aware of the matter.

“He (Raghuvanshi) comes with a lot of experience in pharmaceutical industry as he worked with Dr Reddy’s and Ranbaxy for more than a decade respectively," said the person.

Somani was appointed as DCGI on 14 August 2019 for a period of three years who has been extension twice—one on 16 August and other one was on 16 November last year. Somani’s tenure was set to end on 14 August 2022.

Last year, a potential contender for DCGI post was allegedly caught red handed taking bribe from Biocon Biologic’s executive. Queries sent to the health ministry did not elicit any response.

Priyanka Sharma
Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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